According to a recent ClearCompany survey, almost 40% of employees believe that people in their own organisation don’t collaborate enough. It’s time to learn the art of effective co-creating.
Co-creating works best in a culture that is geared towards learning and collaboration. Co-creation itself is the process in which a team shapes and tests a new solution. At NKD everyone is involved in the creative process – clients too! For every ‘design lab’ we run, we make sure we have the right people there – someone old, someone new, someone borrowed and someone with a clue!
Generating a great solution has its highs and lows – you won’t get it right first time and your ideas are out there to be scrutinized, so you need clear objectives and high trust. But in creating together we are stronger than the sum of our parts.
Here’s what it takes to co-create successfully at NKD – perhaps our ingredients for co-creation will work in your business too:
Be passionate about the project
Whether it be the subject or the people, find something in the project that fascinates you. If you don’t care, why should your audience?
Do your research
The right kind of research will provide you with a wealth of materials from which you can develop innovative ideas and bring authenticity to what you deliver. Authenticity is important – if customers and/or managers question the relevance and truth of your work, it’s difficult to sell your ideas to them.
Get your germinating ideas out there as soon as possible
Get input on your ideas as you move through the creative process – not just when you’re about to submit a final copy of your work. Whether it’s a trusted colleague, your best friend, or your mother, find someone who will give you honest and constructive advice.
Unite the team around a common purpose
Set aside some time early on to explore everyone’s personal objective for the project. Then, as a team, write a unified mission statement for the project. It provides an essential filter for your decisions and keeps everyone travelling in the same direction.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Admit when you don’t know something and proactively seek guidance from your team members. Nobody can do it all so don’t feel bad about your weaknesses. Chances are, someone else will come to you for help too. The beauty of co-creating is connecting different people’s strengths to deliver fantastic results.
Tell your story
Focus on developing the story for your projector solution, not just some impersonal objectives. Stories connect people, trigger imagination, and motivate people to take action. And they make you’re your design is human-centred. Understand the story that you want your team to collectively tell.
Nail the context
Remember that people see the world differently. Take time to consider the project from other perspectives but never forget to provide everyone on your team with the same context. Context is the constant – it’s what keeps everyone on the same page to build and sustain a successful project.
Flex the creative process
Devising doesn’t have to mean endless structured brainstorming meetings or lengthy periods of solitary writing. Let people generate ideas and create content in whichever way works best for them.
Don’t be precious
Throw away your plans or ideas if they’re not helping – sometimes you have to accept that there is nothing left to add, and nothing left to take away.
Stay optimistic and enjoy yourselves (the most important step!)
Things inevitably go wrong sometimes but remember to keep looking for the joy and inspiration to collaborate and create. Stuck in a rut? Take a break then try something different. Great ideas can arise in the most unexpected situations.
Want to discuss how you can get your team successfully co-creating? Let’s connect.